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Urgent Recommendations to Save China's Biological Divesity by Working Group on Biodiversity Conservation

1993-05-05author:Wang Sung, John MacKinnonsource:

  This report presents the primary conclusions of a specialised international working group on the state and needs for conservation of China's natural biological resources, i.e.:



  1.1Principal Findings

  China is one of the most richly endowed nations on earth in terms of renewable biological resources. This richness is shown in absolute numbers of living species, in the proportion of these that are endemic or found only in China and in the number of wild crop, cultivar and domesticable species. China is a megadiversity nation containing vast riches of genetic materials of immense value for present and future generations both within the country and globally.

  The value of benefits derived from China's living resources is impossible to calculate precisely but it is of massive scale in the order of $100 billion per year. In addition the ecological service function of natural habitat, primarily in the form of soil protection and water regulation must also be valued at many billion dollars per annum.

  Despite very considerable and worthy efforts by the Chinese Government, its scientists, officers and people in the form of nature protection policy and action, the state of China's environment and status of its biodiversity is seriously threatened. The huge human population and growing wealth of the people are placing an irresistible pressure on natural habitats and wild species not only in China but in neighbouring countries that increasingly sell their natural products to China. Current levels of utilization cannot be sustained and the resource base is degrading irreversibly. Declining fish production, timber yields, scarcity of medicinal plants, rarity of wildlife, some species extincitions, loss of forest and steppe grassland, spread of desert, increased soil erosion, lowering of water tables, pollution, acid rain, global warming, increased frequency of floods and droughts and increased coastline erosion are all signs of this degradation and are seriously hurting the country's economy and welfare.

  Moreover, the group recognizes that current government capacity to counter this degradation and restore the environment to sustainable productivity is greatly hampered by a serious lack of coordination, lack of clear authority and shortage of investment in manpower, training, equipment and operational budgets, Even where excellent regulations exist, standards of implementation on the ground remain very weak.

  1.2 Call for Action

  The working group urges the Government of China to launch a major national programme to save and restore its endangered natural environment. This programme should be based on a single authoritative Biodiversity Action Plan for China.

  Such a programme is as urgent as, and should tackled with as much vigour as, the programme to stabilise human population. It will require a coordinated approach involving many ministries as well as the support of a widespread popular movement.

  As the first megadiversity nation and most powerful developing nation to sign and ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity. China has the opportunity to be a real leader in a global movement to save out planet. A strong environmental recovery programme by China would prove an enormous encouragement to biodiversity conservation programmes in other developing countries.

  1.3 Principal Recommendations

  The working group proposes five major recommendations to give an immediate start to a National Biodiversity Programme:

  1.3.1 Lead the world in implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  China has already taken a lead by being one of the first nations to sign and ratigy the convention. China should continue to demonstrate global leadership by developing a programme of actions in the context of the convention.

  1.3.2 Establish a national biodiversity authority

  This should be a high level planning and coordination body within the State Council with legal, policy and financial authority over all relevant aspects of the National Biodiversity Programme including international cooperation.

  1.3.3 Launch major national public awareness campaign

  This campaign must reach everyone from schools-children to senior government leaders to spread greater awareness of the role of biodiversity and environmental conservation in the nation's sustainable development. The programme should, where appropriate, build on existing religious and traditional attitudes towards the balance of nature.

  1.3.4 Establish a national biodiversity information service

  This service should coordinate the many diverse efforts to inventories and monitor the status of China's living resources and feed analysed information into the decision-making processes where such information is urgently needed to plan the conservation and sustainable use of living resources and the restoration of the country's productive and protective environment.

  1.3.5 Increase resources devoted to biodiversity conservation

  Major increases (factoral rather than percentage) are needed to restore the nation's environmental health. Inputs are needed at all levels--training, manpower, research, protected areas, law enforcement, sustainable utilization models, synthetic replication of active compounds in traditional medicine, awareness campaign, buffer zone development, and international cooperation.

  1.4 Specific Technical Recommendations

  The working group presents a number of specific technical recommendations. These should be attended to at sectoral level and are presented within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity which China is now obliged to implement.


  China's biological diversity is of enormous importance for national economic development, as well as being of every high global significance.

  China's ecosystems range from tropical rain forests to tundra, from marine sys tens to alpine meadows. The plant life in these ecosystems places China amongst the world's three most plant-rich nations (see fig. 1), and over half of all China's plants occur nowhere else on earth (see fig.2). One in eight of the world' s mammals, birds and fishes is found in China, which is also a centre for genetic variants of domesticated crops (see fig . 3) like rice and tea, and domesticated animals like chickens, pigs and with the result that over 15% of plants are threatened, important mammals like the Saiga antelope are already extinct, and many other species of wildlife are in danger of being lost forever.

  Recognizing the economic and cultural importance of its biodiversity, and the many threats to that biodiversity posed by a huge population and the demands and impacts of rapid economic growth, China has taken a number of steps to conserve its biological resources, and establish more sustainable patterns for their use , including the following:

  —For many years China has been developing a national system of nature reserves. These protected areas already number over 800 including 57 at the national level. In total these reserves 44 million ha or 5% of the land area.

  —Major efforts have been made by Chinese scientists to inventorise the country's biodiversity, making collections of several million specimens, publishing hundreds of books and papers, preparing lists of endangered species (e.g. Red Data Book of Plants), and publishing recommendations for action (e. g. Biodiversity in China Status and Strategy).

  —China has established many laws and regulations to protect and control the us e of living species—Forestry law, Wildlife law, Forestry and Fisheries regulations, local laws.

  At the international level, China has taken four important steps.

  —China has already joined a number of international conventions and programmes —UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, World Heritage Programme, RAMSAR Convention, CITES, migratory bird conventions etc..

  —Premier Li Peng, in his appearance at the 1992 Earth Summit, signed the Conventions on Biological Diversity. In November 1992, China became one of the first six nations to ratify the Convention, and to move ahead in its implementation, even before it comes into comes into force.

  —China has bee cooperating with many international organizations on biodiversity conservation - WWF, IUCN, GEF, McArthur Foundation, WFP.

  —China has created the Chinese Council for International Cooperating on Environment and Development (CCICED)—a high level vehicle for expanding international cooperation on environment and development and making specific recommendations to the State Council. A working group of CCICED has a specific focus on biodiversity.

  The Biodiversity Working Group of CCICED is responsible to the CCICED Chairman and has the role of:

  —encouraging liaison between relevant national and international organizations;

  —analysing and reviewing information on the use and conservation of biodiversity, and identifying information needs;

  —preparing strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.



  Action to conserve China's biodiversity will, first and foremost, require leaders hip and action by the Government of China at the highest levels. Increased international cooperation can buttress this leadership, and can provide added technical resources with which the Chinese can better take action.

  The working group recommends five key, catalytic actions. If adopted by the Government of China, in cooperation with international partners, then an effective response to biodiversity loss will be mounted. In addition the report presents as Annex 1 a series of technical actions to save, study, and sustainable use biodiversity. For convenience of translating these recommendations into actions, they are structured within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  Key Recommendation 1: Lead the World in Implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity

  China should lead the world by immediately implementing a range of activities to conserve and bring under sustainable management its globally important biodiversity.

  Justification: The Convention on Biological Diversity has already taken too many years to reach agreement. Whilst other countries are still arguing over words, this is the time for action. China has taken an important leadership position in the developing world, and at the same time, China is highly influential with the! industrialized nations and can persuade richer nations to share the burden of incremental costs. It is likely that the 30 nations needed to bring the convention into operation will soon ratify.

  Key Recommendation 2: Establish a National Biodiversity Authority

  The Government of China should establish a high-level National Biodiversity Planning and Coordinating Unit (BPCU) as an organ of the State Council-possibly attached to the State Environment Programme. The Unit should have clear legal, policy, and financial authority over relevant aspects of the national biodiversity efforts, including international assistance and activities in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity, The Unit should have a technical staff of a size adequate to its mandate, and funding from a consortium of international donors should b sought to support the work of the Unit.

  Justification: While there are many efforts underway in China to conserve biodiversity, there is very little coordination, a great deal of duplicated — and thus wasted — effort, and a lack of national strategic focus. This frustrates national and local efforts, makes it difficult to increase international cooperation and assistance, and renders that assistance less effective. This recommendation complies with article 5 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  International Aspects: CCICED can serve as an international window for SEPC and can serve a focal channel for coordinating international inputs into the biodiversity programme.

  Key Recommendation 3:Launch Nation-wide Public Awareness Campaign

  The State Council should plan and launch a coordinated national biodiversity public awareness campaign .The campaign would involve appropriate ministries to ensure communications with the widest possible segment of the population. The campaign will highlight the negative effects of over-exploitation of wild species, the importance of controlling trade in wild species products, the importance of developing programmes for sustainable use of wild species, and the significance of maintaining biodiversity to the economic development of rural communities.

  Justification: The Chinese people are placing a very heavy burden on nature and this cannot be sustained. Everyone must learn how to respect nature and use only what can be naturally replaced. The present educational curriculum in primary and middle schools does not adequately convey the importance of maintaining biodiversity and teachers are not trained to provide this knowledge to their students.

  Actions: The public awareness campaign will require extensive consultation with technical agencies, educational agencies and broadcasting and propaganda agencies. The campaign should build on existing religious beliefs and traditional conservation practices such as Buddhism, Taoism, "Longshan" and Fengshui.

  Examples of activities that could be considered include:

  —Weekly TV and radio announcements;

  —Regular articles in the national newspapers;

  —Publication of a newsletter for academics and teachers;

  —Publication of an international newsletter;

  —Brochures for school-children; formation of "green" clubs;

  —Preparation of video films;

  —Preparation of background reviews for policy makers.

  International Aspects: With help form relevant international agencies, public education materials in other countries should be evaluated to identify those most suitable for use in China. Such material will require translation and adaptation to China's educational and public communications systems.

  Attention must be paid to communication China's accomplishments in conservation, particularly in relation to its adoption and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  Key Recommendation 4: Establish National Biodiversity Information Service

  The Government of China should urgently develop a coordinated National Biodiversity Information Service. This must be closely linked to a date network based on field survey, inventory and monitoring as well as remote sensing. The Biodiversity Information Service will be needed for identifying priorities for conservation action, habitat restoration, species management, legislation listing and determining harvest quotas and utilization controls. The data service must be based on a data management system designed to meet specific output needs. The network of data sources will end strong coordination between the many agencies involved. Common standards must be adopted to enable easy data exchange between national and international data managers.

  Justification: There are already many sources of biodiversity information inside and outside China but no attempt has been made to coordinate and focus these in the service of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, If decision-makers are to make progress, they will need coordinated advice from the scientific community, based on compatible information supplied by a wide range of experts. To reduce duplication and data incompatibility, the Biodiversity Planning and Coordination Unit (see Recommendation 1). This recommendation complies with Article 17 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  International aspects: Linkages should be established with various regional and global database systems such as WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Centre), AWB (Asian Wetland Bureau), ABC (Asian Bureau for Conservation) and UNEPTRID (United Nations Environment Programme—Global Resource Information Data-base.)

  Key Recommendation 5:Increase Resources Devoted to Biodiversity Conservation

  China should strengthen institutions and human resources involved in biodiversity research and management. This strengthening is required at the country, provincial and county levels.

  Justification: Current levels of financial and manpower investment in biodiversity conservation in China are disproportionately small in relation to the importance of biodiversity for the economic and ecological welfare and environmental safety of the country. For example, in terms of the number of personnel involved in wildlife management, there are over 1200 management officials at national level in US while there are only 200 in China.

  Existing institutions need further financial as well as political support and other incentives for their activities. Support and incentives for people and institutions are most urgently needed for management personnel, training, funding, research and buffer-zone development around protected areas.

  Annex 1.

  Recommended Activities under the

  Convention on Biological Diversity

  The following recommendations are structured under the relevant article headings of the Convention.

  ARTICLE 5. Cooperation

  A single focal point should be identified to serve as the coordination channel for ensuring that international assistance in biodiversity conservation is better coordinated and focussed on national priority issues. This unit should also actively solicit international assistance needed.

  CCICED could fulfill this latter role.

  Justification: It is noted that at present international agencies are aligned at many different contact pints within the government leading to considerable duplication of effort and even unhealthy competition.

  Article 6. General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use

  The National Biodiversity planning and Coordinating Unit (see Key Recommendation2) should, as an early Priority, work with relevant agencies to bring together the several uncoordinated biodiversity action plans for China that currently exist or are under development, review and combine these to produce an authoritative National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

  Suitable experts should also prepare species and group action plans for special conservation programmes under the overall plan.

  International Aspects: To help policy-makers and government administrators in China gain a better understanding of the requirements for sustainable use of wild species, IUCN's policy guidelines on the basic principles for sustainable use should be made available in Chinese. The government should consider how national and provincial policies may be adjusted to accommodate and control community based management of wild species.

  Article 7.Identification and Monitoring

  Extensive field survey, inventory and monitoring programmes are required to document the distribution, status, populations levels and levels of utilization of biological resources. This will need a coordinated approach by both academic and management authorities. In addition rural people will need training in the collect ion of primary data. The data flow must feed into the national network of biodiversity data management centres (see Key Recommendation).

  International Aspects: International agencies can assist in providing data recording standards and data exchange protocols. China's databases should be linked to regional and global data management programmes both to meet the obligations under the Convention and to benefit from international data downloads of application value within China.

  Article 8. In-situ Conservation

  -protected areas

  Extend the terrestrial Protected Area (PA) system to include a fuller representational range of non-forest ecosystems such as steppe, grassland, desert, scrub an d wetland systems.

  Extending the PA system will require greater coordination between Ministry of Forestry (MOF), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and can be greatly strengthened by building strong links with a variety of international agencies. The idea of putting responsibility for management of all PA's under a single ministry should be considered.

  Take urgent measures to improve levels of protective management at ground level in existing reserves including stricter enforcement of regulations.

  Consideration should be given to establishing a national parks commission with representatives of the different agencies responsible for the different habitat/ecosystems represented in the country. Such a commission would be especially valuable in coordinating a developing tourist industry.

  —ecosystem coverage

  Designate a responsible agency in charge of establishing a representative system of marine and coastal protected areas. This should be planned in collaboration with IUCN-GEF project for establishing a global network of Marine Protected Areas.

  —buffer zone /integration

  In areas where PA's are small and /or surrounded by high densities of human population, great emphasis must be placed on the development of stable buffer zones. Where possible small PA's should be linked by habitat corridors of buffered by semi-wild adjacent land-use.


  Where lowland habitat around mountain reserves have been to rally converted or degraded, efforts should be made to recreate lowland extensions through habitat restoration so as to preserve a more complete altitudinal spectrum of habitat types.

  Justification: Lowland habitats are the richest in species diversity. Many species are only found at low altitude. Many lost habitats were adequately documented in teh1950s and 1960s to guide such restoration.

  Reforestation should be more diversified. Forest function value for soil and water protection, provision of shelter, fuel, recreation and biodiversity conservation should be taken more into consideration when selecting species for planting.

  Justification: Current policy of planting huge areas with monoculture conifer forests is a threat to biodiersity recovery, ecologically risky and often provides less effective soil and water protection than mixed forests, Natural regeneration from residual seeds and rootstock should be allowed more often to proceed. Policy revisions are needed to rationalise the reforestation programme.

  —control of alien species

  Regulations should be developed to prohibit the importation and introduction of alien exotic species until full screening and environmental impact assessment have proved that they are safe.

  Justification: There are already several documented cases where artificially introduced species have caused extinction or extirpation of endemic species in China, especially in freshwater systems.

  —respect traditional knowledge

  Traditional knowledge held by minority groups in China should be fully documented and the resulting knowledge on use of wild species disseminated to rural people who can benefit from greater appreciation of the use of wild species.

  Article 9.Ex-situ Conservation

  Great care must be taken in approval of schemes presented as ex-situconservation.

  Justification: Many of these are a serious drain on wild resources and are motivated by commercial rather than conservation objectives.

  As a matter of policy, a cost /benefit analysis should be completed before development of captive breeding facilities are authorized.

  Justification: Construction and maintenance of captive breeding facilities for wild mammals and birds and some reptiles can be extremely expensive and very risky as little is known about the diet, health, reproductive, or behavioural requirements of most species in these groups.

  China's zoos and botanical gardens must play a much more positive role in conservation and public awareness. A national plan for ex-situ conservation should be drawn up.

  Justification: Zoos in China currently do little to educate the public about the importance of conservation or the status of the animals they exhibit. Most zoos constitute a serious drain on natural resources. Breeding should be improved so that they are at least self-sufficient.

  Article 10. Sustainable Use of Components of Biological Diversity

  Ban non-sustainable hunting and harvesting practices (including forestry) and en courage alternative activities for rural communities to improve living standards. Promote village models of sustainable utilization of resources only where:

  a)the resource base is large and capacity for replacement is high,

  b)control mechanisms can be applied to limit harvest to sustainable levels, and

  c)a monitoring system and regulating authority is present.

  Justification: The growing wealth of China's huge population combined with a strong tradition of using wild species for food, medicine, fur and other purposes makes China a major potential drain of both national and regional biodiversity. It will prove very difficult to ensure that utilization remains sustainable.

  International Aspects: The CITES Management Authority should commission a review of the administrative procedures in relation to implementing China's requirements under CITES. The review should identify personnel needs and recomment more efficient mechanisms to control imports and exports of wild species products.

  Article 11.Incentive Measures

  Ministry of Agriculture should develop a compensation scheme to encourage the continued cultivation of diverse crops even though these may not be as productive as current favourite varieties.

  To take pressure off the continued use of endangered species of medicinal plants and animals, measures should be taken to promote the use of medicinal alternatives or synthetically produced replicates of active compounds identified in traditionally used species.

  Article 12. Research and Training

  Strengthen training syllabuses at those universities and institutes offering courses in various fields of biodiversity management, and extend such training to a wider range of civil servants and others.


  1.Training Seminars. CAS should organise training seminars to introduce the importance of biodiversity conservation to the following, amongst others:

  —Senior government officials and decision makers;

  —Administrators and forest guards in reserve management;

  —Customs officials and others who need to identify wildlife;

  —Conservation biologists.

  2. Research. A series of collaborative studies between Chinese and foreign scientists is needed on at least the following:

  —Human use of landscapes, ecosystems, animals and plants, especially in those areas changing fastest;

  —Driving forces underlying changes in landscapes, ecosystems and wildlife populations (economics, trade, consumption);

  —Resilience of wildlife and ecosystems; sustainable harvesting rates;

  —Alternative human use strategies or alternative resources for endangered species;

  —biodiversity impact assessment methodologies for current and future policies and development projects;

  —Restoration needs of degraded areas (with demonstration projects).

  These research efforts should be tied to capacity building in China. Adequate national as well as international funding for these combined research and training efforts should be sought.

  Article 13.Public Education and Awareness

  Launch a major national public awareness campaign to prompt a new ethos and national movement to restore the productive environment of China. This should promote the establishment of school clubs, NGOs and public societies as well as work through government agencies and institutions (see Key Recommendation 3).

  Actions: Biodiversity and development is an issue that cuts across all sectors of society. In spite of all the information currently available, there is still much confusion. A series of seminars and workshops could be organized in which selected high ranking scientists, managers and politicians meet to discuss the necessary compromises between development and biodiversity. The various perspectives on the question would be presented and discussed in working groups addressing the needs of various sub-sectors such as forestry, fisheries, and agriculture.

  Article 14.Impact Assessment and Minimizing Adverse Impacts

  All major dam and hydrological projects that will create barriers to aquatic systems should be undertaken only after extensive environmental impact assessment (EIA),and ,where necessary construction of fish ladders or other structures to maintain gene-flow across such barriers.

  Justification: Many of China's endemic fish and river species (e. g. river dolphins) are endangered by changes in river flows. Many local extirpations are already documented.

  Mechanisms for Effecting Biodiversity Conservation

  Article 16. Access to and Transfer of Technology

  Efforts must be made to attract more international technical expertise, training, equipment and funding.

  Justification: China could benefit greatly from a considerable transfer of international technology on methods of protecting and managing its biological resources.

  Actions: CCICED should assist in identifying likely agencies able to cooperate in such technical transfer. Some of the transfer will take place in the form of training (see Article 12).

  Article 17.Exchange of Information

  China should mobilise all available information on ecosystems, species and genetic variation in the service of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of living resources (see Key Recommendation 4).

  Justification: In meeting its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity to exchange information, China needs to mobilise these data sources. These data exist in many different forms, information and data, As a first step in making the data more freely accessible within and outside China, it will be necessary to catalogue these information resources and disseminate the catalogue widely.

  Actions: CCICED should prepare a computerised metadatabase (a database of databases). In effect, this will be a catalogue from which interested researchers, analysts and planners will be able to select the information the need for effective management of biological diversity. The information in the catalogue will be gathered by means of a questionnaire disseminated widely to institutions in China and abroad. CCICED should help to draw up a set of information standards for adoption by all biodiversity data compilers in order to facilitate exchange of information. CCICED should also forge international linkages with relevant regional and global biodiversity databases.

  Article 18.Technical and Scientific Cooperation

  Organize in China a series of international workshops and seminars on biodiversity issues. Arrange for more Chinese participation in international meetings and training courses.

  Attract to China more international agencies to undertake joint or cooperative studies and conservation projects. Invite foreign scientists to undertake studies in conservation topics with Chinese counterparts (all levels from PhD students, short-term visits, to sabbaticals). Appropriate institutional conditions should be provided to ensure this is a feasible and attractive possibility.

  Justification: Whilst Chinese scientists are of the highest standards in some branches of biology, taxonomy and ecology, other fields such as field biology, wild life management and population studies are falling behind. A joint programme in t he best way to raise standards in the country as well as doing urgently needed studies.

  Article 20.Financial Resources

  Improve the attractiveness of China for international conservation funding by demonstration and better publicity of China's great commitment to conservation (see Key Recommendation 5).

  Justification: The biological arguments for significantly larger volumes of international funds coming to China for biodiversity conservation are strong, but China can do more to be seen as a good place for such investment. China will become far more attractive to overseas partners if she takes a global lead in implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, implements a more transparent programme, with clearer focus, greater coordination and greater willingness to cooperate. As China invests more in its own programme, international agencies will in crease their contributions.

  International Aspects: CCICED, with its wide connections through international agencies, can play a significant role in locating additional external funding sources and encouraging other international agencies to support China's biodiversity programme.

  Annex 2.

  Minutes of the First Meeting of the

  Biodiversity Working Group of CCICED

  The first meeting of the BWG/CCICED was held in the Beijing SAS Royal Hotel from Feb.8th-Feb.12th 1993.Altogether 17 people participated in the meeting with 10 members 2 observers, 2 invited speakers and 3 meeting assistants. The members were Dr. John MacKinnon, Dr. Eduardo Fuentes, Dr. Charles Barber and Dr. Steven Edwards, Prof. Wang Sung, Prof. Chen Yiyu, Prof. Chen Linzhi, Mr. Qing Jianhua and Mr. Xie Zhenhua. Prof. Chen Changdu, Ms. Song Li, Dr. Andrew Laurie and Mr. Chen Kelin attended as observers. Prof. Wang Xiangpu did not attend the meeting due to illness.

  Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Secretary General of CCICED attended the opening ceremony, in which he extended his congratulations to the meeting and wished the meeting every success. During the meeting, the participants were very pleased to meet Mr. Gu Ming, deputy Chairman of the Legal Working Committee of the State Council and exchange d ideas on issues concerning biodiversity conservation and economic development.

  The meeting was organized and chaired by Prof. Wang Sung and Dr. John MacKinnon. It was held in a very friendly, cooperative and effective atmosphere. All members agree that the meeting was meaningful and achieved a good results. All members were very happy with the facilities offered by the SAS Royal Hotel.

  During the four days' meeting, both foreign and/Chinese experts held extensive discussions on the status of biodiversity and the conservation needs in China. Based on the broad and lively discussions, the members of the group came up with some constructive recommendations which were packaged into their final report. It is hoped that this will be presented to the top leaders of the Government of China (see report).

  The members also discussed the necessary work of BWG/CCICED and work plan for 19 93.The co-chairmen make a working schedule for 1993.

  The members would like to express their thanks to the Canada International Development Agency and Simon Fraser University for their funding of overseas participant costs and partical funding of Chinese participant costs.


  8th Feb. Monday. SAS Royal Hotel 2nd Floor Meeting Room

  10:00-12:30 Moring Session-Chair: Prof. Wang Sung

  10:oo Opening of Meeting

  1. Welcoming Address-Prof. Wang Sung

  2. Introduction to CCICED-Prof. Xie Zhenhua,Sec. Gen.

  3. Members: Self Introductions

  11:00-11:15 Coffee/Tea Break

  11:15-12:30 Discussion of Agenda

  Discussion of Workplan

  12:30-14:00 Lunch

  14:00-17:30 Afternoon Session-Chair: John MacKinnon


  1. Summary of Development of Forest and Wildlife Protection-Mr. Qing Jianhua

  2. Summary of Biodiversity Research by CAS -Prof. Wang Sung

  3. Summary of International Conservation Efforts in East Asia-Dr. John MacKinnon

  15:30-16:00 Tea/Coffee Break

  16:00-17:30 General Discussion: Issues and Problems in China's

  Biodiversity Conservation

  Formulation of Report Framework

  9th Feb. Tuesday

  09:00-12:30 Morning Session-Chair: John MacKinnon

  09:00-09:30 CITES Office Work- Mr. Qing Jianhua/ChenKelin

  09:30-10:00 Needs for Protection of Plant Resources-Prof. Chen Linzhi

  10:00-10:30 Establishing a Biodiversity Database in China-Prof. Wang Sung

  10:30-10:45 Freshwater Conservation in china-Prof. Chen Yiyu

  11:15-11:45 Biodiversity convention Follow up in china -MS. Song Li

  11:45-12:30 Discussion of contents of group report

  12:30-14:00 Lunch

  14:00-18:00 Afternoon session -chair: Prof. Wang Sung

  14:40-14:40 DIVERSITAS programme- Prof. Ed. Fuentes

  14:40-15:20 International capacity to Assist -Dr. Charles Barber

  15:20-16:00 Developing Manpower skills for Conservation -Dr. Andrew Laurie

  16:00-16:30 Tea/coffee Break

  16:30-17:10 Towards Achieving sustainable use -Dr. Steve Ed-wards

  17:10-17:30 Mari9ne problems and Trade Issues -Dr. John MacKinnon

  17:30_18:00 Discussion on group report

  18:30-20:30 Banquet hosted by Mr. Gu Ming

  10th Feb. Wednesday

  08:30-12:30 Morning Session- chair: John MacKinnon

  08:30-09:10 Data sharing and Global monitoring -Dr. Mark Collins

  09:10-12:30 Drafting and discussion of items for group report

  12:30-14:00 Lunch

  14:00-17:15 Afternoon session -chair: Prof. Wang Sung

  14:00-17:15 Drafting and discussion of group report

  18:00-20:00 Banquet hosted by CAS

  11th Fed Thursday

  09:00-12:30 Morning session -chair: John MacKinnon

  09:10-12:30 Discussion and revision of group report

  12:30-14:00 Lunch

  14:00-17:30 Afternoon session -chair: Prof. Wang Sung

  14:00-14:30 Review of Group Workplan, TOR and budget

  14:30-15:00 Discussion of modes of work

  15:30-16:00 Discussion of project activities for group.

  16:00-16:30 Tea/coffee Break

  16:30-17:30 completion of group report

  17:30 closing of Meeting

  The following documents on the status of China's Biodiversity were examined by the group:

  Global Biodiversity: Status of the World's Living Resources -WCMC with IUCN, UNEP, WRI.

  Global Biodiversity strategy -WRI, IUCN, UNEP

  Convention on Biological Diversity

  Sustainable Use of wildlife -programme prospectus -IUCN

  Nature resources in china -NEPA

  The Review and prospectus of Eco-Farming construction in China -Qu Geping

  Biodiversity in china, status and conservation Needs-CAS

  Biodiversity Review of china -WWF

  China plant Red Data Book Vol.1-NEPA

  Climate change Due to the Greenhouse Effect and its Implications for China -WWF, SMA

  Forest Development and Environmental protection in china -MOF

  The Protection of wild Fauna and Flora in china -MOF

  The Review and prospect of the Development of Protected Areas in China-NEPA

  Environmental Policy in Post-Mao China-Lester Ross

  Conservation in the People's Republic of China-Li Wenhua, CISNR

  People's Republic of China, Environmental and Natural Resources Briefing profile- ADB

  Review Report on the Course of Protected Areas in China-Wang Xianpu

  China, Environmental Issues, Country Orientation paper-World Bank


  Discussion of modus operandi of the group

  The modus operandi already developed by the co-chairmen in their meeting of 24th Sept.1992 was discussed and approved as acceptable to the group.

  Discussion of Terms if Reference of the Group

  The functions of the working group as laid out in the working plan document distributed to members last year were discussed. These are stated as:

  a)to bring together the relevant government agencies and scientific institutions in China, and Appropriate governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with the conservation and sustainable use of living resources and biological diversity;

  b)to analyse and review information of China's biological diversity, including information on its use ,and to propose survey and research to remedy deficiencies in this knowledge base;

  c)to propose strategies and actions for the conservation and sustainable use of the nation's biological diversity and living natural re-sources.

  It was considered that these functions were ambitious for a small working group and that the working group should take care to be selective. Many of these functions are already being done in part by other bodies, and the group should liaise closely with them.

  The group cannot bring together all relevant agencies but has formed a good core expert group which is capable of bringing a wide range of knowledge and experience to the group's deliberations and work.

  The group decided its primary role was in function b), mostly scientific review and overview, Through this role, however, it is able to contribute significantly to function a), essentially liaison, and also to function c), strategy planning. As this report will show, the group proposes a number of very high level strategic activities, into which the detailed biodiversity action plans of the GEF project in China will fit .The World Bank had drawn together overseas experts and ministry representatives to prepare this plan concurrently with our meeting. The group wished to review ,but not duplicate, their work,


  It was decided to hold at least one full meeting of the working group each year. The countryside where the group could experience more of the environmental problems of the country. Wuhan and Wuyishan were suggested as possible venues.

  In addition several of the group may be able to get together at the occasion of the IUCN General Assembly in Buenos Aires next January. It was agreed that whenever any of the international members are able to visit China in other Business they will contact the co-chairmen to see if a small meeting can be arranged.

  It was agreed that the co-chairmen would meet at least 4 times a year to coordinate progress of the group activities.

  It was agreed that the group should solicit funds for a small programme of activities, These projects will be largely in the form of commissioned studies and reviews to fill information gaps already identified by the group and to undertake cross-sectoral studies in areas where other agencies were not operating.

  The Work Plan of the Group lists 10topics that the group should ad-dress. The following decisions were reached as to what we could do with each these (titles abbreviated).

  1.Promote establishment of biodiversity surveys and establishment of databases.

  This is being tackled by several different agencies and both co-chairmen are engaged in this work. The working group should assist such efforts and try to bring greater coordination and conformity to the process. As an initial step it was decided the group should develop a metadatabase (or database of databases) in which t o catalogue the existing data-sources of biodiversity in China. The group could also commission a consultancy to draw up a set of standards and data sharing protocols to promote greater sharing of information. Dr. Mark Collins will personally discuss establishing links between WCMC and the CAS database initiatives. Dr. Mark Collins and Prof. Wang Sung will develop a project document for this work (see also Article 17 of Annex 1).

  2.Assess criteria for identifying conservation priorities.

  It was felt that this was what the developers of the biodiversity action plan were already doing. In addition a great deal has already been done on this in previous reviews including work by the two co-chairmen for CAS and WWF respectively. The group should liase with continuing efforts to identify priorities and develop conservation action plans and will review such plans as they are developed.

  3. Survey and evaluate the status of utilization of biological resources.

  This was recognized by the group as a major information gap hindering the effective protection, management and sustainable use of living resources in China. The group will initiate studies of turnover in animal markets, studies of medicine factories, village studies of use of wild species and trade details. The project document for a preliminary study of wildlife trade in markets of Southern China was discussed as a suitable starting point. It was agreed that John MacKinnon and Qing Jian-hua would work on the development of a full project document.

  4.Examine interactions between development and biodiversity conservation.

  It was agreed that Dr. Eduardo Fuentes and Prof. Chen Longzhi should work on development of a project document for some pilot projects.

  5.Examine threats to species and species groups.

  This is already being done for various groups. A plant Red Data book is already published and red lists have been prepared for other species. It was agreed that prior to publication of such lists, Wang Sung will send these to John MacKinnon for comparison with lists generated by the MASS database for China.

  This evaluation is a continuing process and will have to be firmly connected to the promotion of field inventory and monitoring.

  6.Evaluate planning of in-situ conservation.

  This has already been done n the WWF biodiversity review of China which was introduced to the group. It was agreed that this was not an immediate priority but will become a long-term process linked with monitoring of protected areas and their effectiveness.

  7. Evaluate effectiveness of ex-situ conservation in China.

  It was agreed that this was an area the group could already start to investigate. It was felt that there were many problems with the efforts at ex-situ conservation in China and that a study and development of an ex-situ conservation action plan was appropriate. Wang Sung and Steve Edwards will develop a project document to evaluate zoos, botanic gardens and gene bank efforts in China.

  8.Evaluate current legal instruments.

  It was decided that this should be relegated as a longer term objective of the group. The general feeling of the group was that the laws and regulations were rather good but that there was to undertake a study to determine why laws and regulations are not being applied at ground level.

  9.Evaluate current research and training activities on biodiversity in China.

  Dr. Andrew Laurie has made a review of this subject for the World Bank. He gave a good presentation on his findings to the group and a section on this topic is being appended to the biodiversity action needed by the group at the present time.

  10.Promote seminars and training courses through international programmes on various relevant topics.

  It was decided that as a first step a workshop on the establishment of studbooks and computer data on captive animals should be built into the project on ex-situ conservation (see 7 above).

  in addition it was decided it would be helpful if the working group produced a database on international organizations currently active or potentially interested in cooperation in the field of biodiversity conservation in China with details of their current programmes, government contact points, missions objectives, addresses and levels of funding. It was decided to ask Dr. Charles Barber to look into the available methodologies for this.

  It was agreed that Dr. John MacKinnon should send a copy of the meeting minutes an d report to all members by the end of February .All comments and corrections must to him by the end of March so that the final report can be submitted to CCICED secretariat well be-fore the annual meetings of CCICED in Hangzhou in early May 1993.Both co-chairmen will attend these meetings and report on them to the other members.


  The group reviewed the draft budget prepared by the two co-chairmen in Sept.1992.

  It was felt that funding arrangements for participation foreign members was adequate.

  It was felt that the budget of 10,000for commissioned studies and 5,000 for publications was still needed to undertake the agreed work programme and that these funds should be requested from CIDA.

  It was agreed that specific project proposals could be also submitted to additional sponsor agencies for funding.

  It was agreed by the two co -chairmen that the co-funding of the Chinese side's inputs was fair and the items agreed for funding by CIDA as per letter of Earl Drake was reasonable but that the actual amounts proposed by CIDA were too small and should be increased. As this is a general matter that affects all working groups of CCICED, we leave this to the CCICED secretariat to take up directly with Canada.

  Annex 3.

  Address of Participants

  of Biodiversity Working Group/CCICED

  First Meeting

  Dr. John MacKinnon

  Director, Asian Bureau for Conservation

  18E Capital Building

  175-191 Lockhart Road

  Wanchai, Hong Kong

  Tel/Fax: (852) 598-6960

  Dr. Eduardo Fuentes Quezada

  professor de Ciencias Biologicas

  Departamento de Ecologia

  Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and

  Member of the Coordinating Committee of IUBS/Scope

  UNESCO joint programme-Diversitas.

  Tel: 2224516exts, 2618

  Telex: 240 395 PUC VACL

  Fax: 56-2-222-5515

  Dr, Charles V. Barber

  Associate, program in Biological Resources

  and Institutions

  World Resources Institute

  1790New York Avenue, New York,

  Washington, D. C. 20006, USA

  Tel: 202-662-2506

  Fax: 202-638-0036

  Telex: 64414 WRI WASH

  Dr. N. Mark Collins

  Director of Programme

  World Conservation Monitoring Center

  Address: 219c Huntingdon Road

  Cambridge CB3 ODL,

  U. K.

  Tel: (0223) 277314

  Telex: 817036 SCMUG

  Fax: (0223) 277365

  Dr. Stephen R. Edwards

  Programm Director

  Sustainable Use of Wildlife/IUCN

  Address: 1400 16th Street, N. W.

  Washington, D.C.20036 USA

  Tel: (202) 797-5454/797-3416

  Fax: (202) 797-5461

  Mr.: Gu Ming

  Vice-chairman, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development

  Vice-Director, the Law Committee of National People' Congress

  Addree: No.2Fuyou Street,

  Beijing 100017,China

  Prof. Wang Sung

  Executive vice Chairman, Endangered species Scientific

  Commission, P.R.C. (Scientific Authority for CITES)

  Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

  19Zhongguancun Lu

  Beijing (86-1) 256 2717

  Telex: 22474 ASCHI CN

  Mr. Qing Jianhua

  Deputy Director, Bureau of protection, Ministry of Forestry

  Secretary General, China Wildlife Conservation Association

  Hepingli, Beijing 100714,China

  Tel/Fax: (86-1) 421-4180

  Prof. Chen Yiyu

  Director of Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

  Wuhan, 430072,p. R. China

  Tel: 723481 ext. 392(Office)

  ext. 313(Home)

  Cable: 3225 Wuhan

  Prof. Chen Lingzhi

  Institute of Botany

  Chinese Academy of Sciences

  141Xizhimenwai Dajie Street

  Beijing 100044,China

  Tel: 8353831(office)


  Fax: (86-1) 831 9534

  Ms. Song Li

  Division Chief, Department of Treaty and Law

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  People's Republic of China

  Beijing 100701,China

  Tel: (86-1) 555520

  Telex: Treaty Law

  Dept, c/o210070


  Fax: (86-1) 513-4505

  Prof. Chen Changdu

  President of the Ecological Society of China

  Consultant of the National Environmental Protection Agency of PRC

  Director, Center for Environmental Sciences

  Peking University

  Beijing100871, China

  Tel: 250 1197 (Office)

  254 5544ext. 70(Hone)

  Telex: 22239 PKUNI CN

  Fax: 256 4095

  Mr. Chen Kelin

  Deputy Chief Division, Bureau of Protection

  Ministry of Forestry

  Hepingli, Beijing 100714,China

  Tel: 422 9944ext.3340

  Fax: (86-1) 421-4180

  Mr. Cao Jinghua

  Director, Office for World Bank Loan

  Bureau of International Cooperation

  Chinese Academy of Sciences

  Yuyantan, Beijing 100864,China

  Mr. Li Wenjun

  Institute of Zoology

  Chinese Academy of Sciences

  19 Zhongguancun Lu

  Beijing 100080,China

  Tel: (86-1) 256 1876/256 4680

  Fax: (86-1) 256-5689

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